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Stanislav Petrov, Soviet Officer Who Helped Avert Nuclear War, Dies At 77

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Stanislav Petrov, a former Soviet military officer who was largely personally responsible for what could have been all-out nuclear war, has died at the age of 77: Early on the morning of Sept. 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov helped to prevent the outbreak of nuclear war. A 44-year-old lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Air Defense Forces, […]

Former Sheriff David Clarke Told To Revise Thesis After Plagiarism Investigation

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Former Sheriff David Clarke is being told that he must revise his thesis or risk losing his degree: Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke must revise his master’s thesis or risk losing his degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, according to documents CNN’s KFile obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. […]

Ann Coulter Falls Out Of Love With Trump Over DACA

Donald Trump Shrug

It’s not just Sean Hannity and Breitbart News who’s upset with Donald Trump over his apparent DACA deal, Ann Coulter isn’t happy either: Ann Coulter has said some pretty over-the-top things about President Trump. She has sometimes referred to him as “emperor god,” proclaimed one of his immigration-themed campaign addresses to be “the most magnificent speech ever […]

London Underground Bombed By Presumed Terrorists

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The London subway was hit by a bomb during the morning rush hour. Authorities are treating it as a terrorist attack.

A Photo for Friday: Pink Sky

“Pink Sky” July 20, 2017 Pike Road, AL

When You’ve Lost Sean Hannity

Fox News Logo

Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity has been among Donald Trump’s most obsequious supporters, but he doesn’t appear to be too happy about the reported deal to keep DACA alive: Politicians are supposed to keep their word. R’s failed on Healthcare, broke their word They have failed! @POTUS needs to keep his promises https://t.co/NldKWcFrRB — Sean […]

Steve Mnuchin Inquired Into Using Government Plane For His Honeymoon

Steve Mnuchin Wife Plane

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who recently gained attention for using a government plane to fly to Kentucky during last month’s eclipse, apparently inquired into using a government plane for his honeymoon earlier this year: WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin inquired about the use of a military plane for his European honeymoon last month, the […]

Pete Domenici, Long-Serving New Mexico Senator, Dies At 85

Capitol Dome

Pete Dominici, who served as Senator from New Mexico for more than thirty years, died earlier this week at age of 85: Pete V. Domenici, the former six-term Republican senator from New Mexico whose mastery of budget and tax issues and energy policy made him one of the Senate’s most influential members, died on Wednesday […]

On Colleges Losing Their Minds (or Other Tales of Small N Inferences)

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According to the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics there were 7,236 Postsecondary Title IV institutions in the US as of 2013 (two- and four-year institutions).  That translates into thousands upon thousands of classes on a given day. Hence, it makes perfect sense to draw grand conclusions about higher education in America from a […]

Edith Windsor, Plaintiff In Landmark Marriage Equality Case, Dies At 88

Gay Marriage Wedding Cake Two Women

Edith Windsor, the Plaintiff whose lawsuit led to the first of two landmark Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality, has died at the age of 88: Edith Windsor, the gay-rights activist whose landmark case led the Supreme Court to grant same-sex married couples federal recognition for the first time and rights to a host of […]

Supreme Court Allows Trump Refugee Ban

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The Supreme Court has overruled a lower court ruling blocking the Trump administration’s temporary ban on refugees. By the time they issue a final ruling, the issue will be moot. Mark Sherman for the AP: The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to maintain its restrictive policy on refugees. The justices on Tuesday agreed […]

This White House is Learning

us-politics

Via NPR:  Trump Dinner Menu: Tax Cuts The guest list for Tuesday’s dinner includes Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.; Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.; and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. All three are up for re-election next year in states that Trump carried by wide margins. If Trump wants to get a major bill through congress, this is the kind […]

Vincente Fox Is Back To Make Fun Of Donald Trump

Donald Trump Hair

Former Mexican President Vincente Fox has been among the most effective trolls against Donald Trump ever since Trump the candidate announced his policy that he would build a wall on the southern border that Mexico would pay for. Now, he’s out with a video that takes the game to a new level: The United States […]

Louisiana Tech Loses 87 Yards On One Fumble, Ends Up With A 3rd Down And 93

Picard Facepalm

Yesterday was a bad day for Louisiana Tech football: Louisiana Tech didn’t get many opportunities to score against Mississippi Stateon Saturday night. And even when it did, things went from good to bad really fast. Poised to slice into a 57-14 deficit early in the fourth quarter, Louisiana Tech was looking at second-and-goal from the Mississippi State […]

A Photo for Friday: Cork in the Dark

“Cork in the Dark” August 3, 2016 Pike Road, AL

Narco-Pigeon

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Via the BBC:  ‘Narco-pigeon’ shot by Argentina police Police in Argentina have shot a carrier pigeon that was delivering drugs to a jail, prison authorities say. I have to admit, this is a new one to me.  I am aware of numerous types of narco-subs, human mules, and catapults used to deliver drugs, among other […]

Colombia Signs Cease Fire with ELN

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Via WaPo, Colombia signs cease-fire deal with last guerrilla group: The deal struck in Quito, Ecuador, where talks with the National Liberation Army, or ELN, have been taking place since February, goes into effect Oct. 1. It runs through Jan. 12 and can be renewed if both sides agree. Under the cease-fire, the rebels agree to suspend […]

Sasse Remarks on Trump’s Mercantilism

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“His Administration holds 18th-century views of trade as a zero-sum game.”-Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE). For context, see: Trump preparing withdrawal from South Korea trade deal, a move opposed by top aides.

Jennifer Rubin’s Assessment of the GOP

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“The party of Lincoln has become the party of Charlottesville, Arpaio, DACA repeal and the Muslim ban.” —Jennifer Rubin. Note:  Rubin is a conservative, indeed Republican (at least in the past) commentator.

Today in Depressing Poll Numbers

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Via Newsweek: In a Fox News poll released Wednesday, 69 percent of Republicans said the news media is a bigger danger to society, compared with just 18 percent who responded that white supremacists are more of a problem.

Understanding Where we are in Afghanistan

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The following from Foreign Policy is worth a read: There Is No War in Afghanistan. Ever since the Taliban government was toppled in late 2001, the heart of the strategic problem that has confronted the United States and its allies in Afghanistan has been the definition of victory: How does this end? We would all be better […]

The War on Information

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Via the Seattle Times comes a piece worth a read:  UW professor: The information war is real, and we’re losing it Starbird argues in a new paper, set to be presented at a computational social-science conference in May, that these “strange clusters” of wild conspiracy talk, when mapped, point to an emerging alternative media ecosystem on the web […]

Racism and Nationalism Make you Dumb

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Via Politco:  Far-right German candidate promises to get rid of Arabic numerals Otfried Best, who is hoping to become mayor of Völklingen, near the French border, was asked by a member of Die Partei, a satirical party, during a debate earlier this week what he thought of Arabic numerals used in the town, Stern magazine reported.  ”Mr. Best … […]

Justice Sotamayor Presides In Judge’s Chambers

Sonia Sotomayor

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor showed up at Yankee Stadium yesterday for the first of a four-game series against the Red Sox that could prove crucial to the team’s chase for the AL East pennant this season. Instead of sitting in a luxury box seat down by the dugout though, she was in Judge’s Chambers: […]

(Vice) Presidential

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Via Politico, Pence shows Trump how to sweat it out with Texas victims: Pence — who is always cautious about upstaging the president — literally followed in Trump’s footsteps, flying with his wife to Corpus Christi, Texas, two days after the president and first lady Melania Trump had flown there and received updates from officials on the […]

More on the new Fiscal Realities in Washington

us-politics

To go along with my post from yesterday is this piece from the NYT: Hurricane Harvey Shifts Political Winds in Washington. Gone are the confrontational talk of a government shutdown and the brinkmanship over the debt limit. Instead, both Mr. Trump and his putative allies in Congress — many of them professed fiscal hawks — are promising […]

A Photo for Friday: Down by the River

“Down by the River” July 22, 2017 Montgomery, AL

Least Shocking Headline of the Day

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Via WaPo, Even in visiting hurricane-ravaged Texas, Trump keeps the focus on himself: As rescuers continued their exhausting and heartbreaking work in southeastern Texas on Tuesday afternoon, as the rain continued to fall and a reservoir near Houston spilled over, President Trump grabbed a microphone to address hundreds of supporters who had gathered outside a firehouse near […]

Trump Admits He Dropped Arpaio Pardon Friday Night Because Of Hurricane Harvey Coverage

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Yesterday during a press conference with the President of Finland, President Trump said he issued the pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio when he did because he knew that the coverage of Hurricane Harvey bearing down on Houston would mean more people would be watching the news: WASHINGTON — President Trump offered a fiery defense […]

Trump Fired A Guy Because The Crowd For His Speech Wasn’t Big Enough

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona

Bloomberg is reporting that Donald Trump fired a long time political adviser because the size of the crowd at his Phoenix rally wasn’t big enough: Donald Trump was in a bad mood before he emerged for a confrontational speech in Arizona last week. TV and social media coverage showed that the site of his campaign […]

Sebastian Gorka Out At White House

White House Aerial View

In addition to announcing the pardon of former Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the White House also announced last night that controversial White House appointee Sebastian Gorka was fired in what appears to be another move by new Chief of Staff John Kelly to clean house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: Sebastian Gorka, an outspoken […]

A Photo for Friday: Edge of Trust

“Edge of Trust” July 28, 2010 Pike Road, AL

Debt Ceiling PSA

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To use the technical political science term, the debt ceiling is dumb.  It is dumb regardless of who is in the White House and irrespective of which party controls Congress.  It is dumber than the day is long.  It is so dumb that the depths of the ocean cannot contain its dumbness.  An infinite number […]

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

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“I am not overawed, and I am not at all disturbed by the proclamation of college professors who never earned a dollar by the sweat of their brow by honest labor.”–Senator Samuel Shortridge (R-CA) in response to “1,028 economists [who] sent a letter of protest, arguing that protectionism would harm the economy and cause a trade […]

Veneration Creates Normalcy

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I would recommend the following essay from Rose Sampley:  A Southern Woman Shares Her Story of Statues, Lies, and Listening. A sample: In fourth grade I took a field trip to Stone Mountain to see the faces of Jefferson Davis, Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson up close and personal. This is a very fond […]

What are we Honoring? (Looking to Statuary Hall)

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Via WaPo:  The U.S. Capitol has at least three times as many statues of Confederate figures as it does of black people Consider this: In the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection there are three times as many statues of Confederate soldiers and politicians as there are statues of black people in the entire Capitol complex, according to records maintained by the Architect […]

On Gorka’s Expertise

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In case you were not aware, via CNN:  Sebastian Gorka’s PhD adviser: “I would not call him an expert in terrorism” “I would not call him an expert on terrorism,” said Stephen Sloan, a retired professor of political science who spent much of his career at the University of Oklahoma. Though he said Gorka is […]

What It Takes To Be A Congressman’s Driver

Capitol Daytime

Politico has published an eight-page memorandum reportedly given to Congressional office and campaign workers who drive Indiana Republican Congressman Todd Rikta to and from appointments: Empty his trash. Always have hand sanitizer and gum at the ready. And don’t bother with “unnecessary conversation” — the congressman doesn’t have time for your chitchat. Demanding, high-maintenance bosses are notorious […]

Schwarzenegger Provides Speech Trump Should have Given

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Worth a watch:

Trump’s Arts Council Quits On Him, Sends Hidden Message

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As part of the continuing response to President Trump’s Committee On the Arts and Humanities has been effectively disbanded thanks to the resignation of the vast majority of its members. They did so in the letter set forth below, which appears to contain a hidden message. Here’s the letter (Click To Enlarge): For those who can’t […]

The 82nd Airborne Is Still Fighting Fascists

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The 82nd Airborne Division is calling out a man who was photographed at the Charlottesville rally on Saturday wearing an 82nd Airborne hat: The 82nd Airborne Division fought several campaigns against Nazi Germany during World War II. So after a man in a hat bearing the elite Army paratrooper unit’s insignia was pictured throwing a […]

A Photo for Friday: Keys to the Past

“Keys to the Past” August 2, 2016 Pike Road, AL

Mother Of Woman Killed By White Supremacist Doesn’t Want To Hear From Donald Trump

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The mother of the young woman murdered by a white supremacist doesn’t want to hear from the President of the United States: "Have you talked to [Pres. Trump] directly yet?" – @RobinRoberts "I have not and now I will not." – Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer pic.twitter.com/TlqplPyi3J — Good Morning America (@GMA) August 18, […]

Lee v. Washington: It’s not that Hard

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There is so much to write on the events of the last several days, but here is a quick response to the following from Trump: “So this week, it is Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the […]

The Wrong Way to Protest Confederate Statues

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We can not condone vandalism and worse.

Trump Says He’s Considering Pardoning Joe Arpaio

Joe Arpaio

On the same day that he finally spoke up about the racist-inspired violence in Charlottesville, Donald Trump told a reporter that he is considering pardoning former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was recently convicted of failing to comply with the order of a Federal Judge: President Trump told Fox News he is “seriously considering” issuing […]

Groups Seek To Hold Protest To “Protect” Confederate Monuments In Richmond

Mississippi Confederate Flag

Some of the same groups that were behind this weekend’s protests in Charlottesville over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from the town square are now planning on protesting in Virginia’s capital in Richmond: A Confederate heritage organization has asked the state for permission to gather Sept. 16 at Richmond’s Robert E. […]

GoDaddy Boots Racist Website ‘Daily Stormer’

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It couldn’t happen to a nicer domain. But it’s a slippery slope.

Trump: North Korean Threats Will Increase Tourism To Guam

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President Trump told the Governor of Guam that the threats from North Korea will boost tourism to the island territory: HAGÅTÑA, Guam — If there’s one thing that Guam does not have to worry about while the tiny island is in the nuclear cross hairs of North Korea, it’s tourism, President Trump told the island’s governor in […]

Just How Far Can North Korea’s Missiles Reach?

Kim Jong Un North Korean Flag

This chart from al-Jazeera shows just how far the missiles that have been developed and tested by North Korea can reach: (click to enlarge) The unknown factor, of course, is whether any of these missiles can actually effectively deliver a payload to the areas that they might be able to reach.

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